March 15 | Lawrence Abu Hamdan | Natq (impossible speech) | ACT Spring 2021 Lecture Series

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Once Removed, 2019. Still.
ACT at MIT

Monday, March 15
Virtual Event
12:30pm EDT

Free event. Register here.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents ‘Natq’, a live audiovisual essay on the politics and possibilities of reincarnation. Through listening closely to “xenoglossy” (the impossible speech of reincarnated subjects), this performance explores a collectivity of lives who use reincarnation to negotiate their condition at the threshold of the law—people for whom injustices and violence have escaped the historical record due to colonial subjugation, corruption, rural lawlessness, and legal amnesty. In the piece, reincarnation is not a question of belief but a medium for justice.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a “Private Ear.” His interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music. The artists audio investigations has been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organizations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International together with fellow researchers from Forensic Architecture.

Abu Hamdan completed his PhD in 2017 from Goldmsiths College University of London and is currently a fellow at the Gray Centre for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago

Abu Hamdan has exhibited his work at the 58th Venice Biennale, the 11th Gwanju Biennale and the 13th and 14th Sharjah Biennial, Witte De With, Rotterdam, Tate Modern Tanks, Chisenhale Gallery, Hammer Museum L.A, Portikus Frankfurt, The Showroom, London and Casco, Utrecht.His works are part of collections at MoMA, Guggenheim, Van AbbeMuseum, Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern. Abu Hamdan’s work has been awarded the 2019 Edvard Munch Art Award, the 2016 Nam June Paik Award for new media and in 2017 his film Rubber Coated Steel won the Tiger short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival. For the 2019 Turner Prize Abu Hamdan, together with nominated artists Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani, formed a temporary collective in order to be jointly granted the award.

Respondent:
ACT Lecturer Lara Baladi is an Egyptian-Lebanese multidisciplinary artist, archivist, and educator whose practice spans photography, video, sculpture, architecture, and multimedia installations. Informed by her critical investigations into historical archives and the study of popular visual culture, her work questions the theoretical divide between fiction and reality and the cycles inherent to history.

Under the umbrella Vox Populi, Baladi has amassed a significant archive of data on the 2011 Egyptian revolution and other global protests that has been the basis for publications, media initiatives and art installations.

In 2008, she won the Grand Nile Award at the Cairo Biennale for her ephemeral construction and sound installation Borg El Amal (Tower of Hope). In 2006 Baladi founded the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Nomadic Artists) in Egypt’s White Desert. For more than twenty years, she has been on the board of the Arab Image Foundation in Lebanon and the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Egypt.

Baladi received fellowships from the Japan Foundation in 2003 and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab in 2014. Amongst other residencies, she was an artist-in-residence at Art Omi (Ghent, New York, in 2014, and in 2015 at MacDowell, New Hampshire and MIT (Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence). Since 2015, she has been a Lecturer in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture, and Technology. In 2020 she joined the Board of Directors of Artists Sanctum, a cultural initiative supporting artists whose work contributes to social change.

The Q+A will be moderated by ACT alumnus Ryan Aasen (SMACT ’20). Ryan Aasen is an artist, photographer, and researcher interested in queer perspectives of privacy. His recent work reevaluates the role of the closet in the contemporary age of mass surveillance. He is a recent graduate of MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology, and his work has been exhibited internationally.

Part of ACT’s Spring 2021 Lecture Series, The Incidence of Fingerprints When Earth Meets the Sky.